The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has donated US$10 million in cash to WFP's operations in the Horn of Africa, where over six million people in six countries are rapidly running out of food following several seasons of severe drought.
This latest donation is the largest ever to WFP from Saudi Arabia – or from any Gulf country
James Morris, WFP’s Executive Director
The six countries are: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Somalia.
“WFP is extremely grateful to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Saudi people for this important contribution that comes at a crucial time. Many of the people who will benefit from the Saudi donation are nomadic pastoralists who have tragically lost all their livestock,” said James Morris, WFP’s Executive Director.
Severe funding difficulties
The new donation comes at a time when WFP is having severe funding difficulties in East Africa, where the agency faces a shortfall of some US$200 million for its drought-related operations.
“When we do not have the funds, we cannot help the poor survivors of conflicts and natural disasters. This latest donation is the largest ever to WFP from Saudi Arabia – or from any Gulf country – and is a sign of the government’s commitment to work more closely with the United Nations, and with WFP in particular, so that we can reach these survivors quickly and effectively,” added Morris.
Saudi Arabia has become a significant donor to WFP operations worldwide.
Since 2005, the Saudi government and private sector have given over US$20 million in contributions.
Commitment to help humanity
Most recently, Saudi Arabia has provided funds for WFP operations in Cambodia, the occupied Palestinian territory and Pakistan.
Providing assistance to over 50 countries across the globe, Saudi Arabia plays a leading role in humanitarian and relief activities.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has donated billions of dollars bilaterally or multilaterally to relief and development projects over the last 30 years and the recent donations to WFP are examples of its ongoing commitment to help humanity,” said WFP’s Special Ambassador Abdulaziz Arrukban.